thoughts on back-to-back long runs? let's say that during the work week i could get in gym time and a couple of quality tempo/hill runs. thoughts on stacking up my long runs on saturday and sunday, and ensuring that they contain some good mix of hills, exposure, and technical trails?
A couple years ago I did a 100k in February on a 36F degree day that dropped to 20s after dark. Yeah, ummmm, that was â€śfunâ€ť...hahaha.
#1 thing in ultra training is always aerobic fitness.
You donâ€™t need more weekly miles than you would do for marathon training but it is a good idea to be more biased to the weekly long runs. For instance, 6 to 8 mile runs during the week then 18-20 and 12-15 on the weekend. Back to back long runs arenâ€™t hugely important for distances below 50 miles but if youâ€™ve got the time they can be helpful. Iâ€™ve done 50K races with only one long run per week, for me the second day is bonus... With that said, in the last month it is a good idea to do a couple weekend back-to-backs just to get the feel of the distance fatigue.
Iâ€™d say that time on feet is more important than distance for the long days. A 5 hour day on trails with climbing and technical bits that only gets you 16 miles is more valuable than a 3 hour 22 miles on smooth rolling terrain.
Practice powerhiking, youâ€™ll be doing that on race day.
If possible, at least once a week get on trails that simulate the race course. Itâ€™s good to be accustomed to what youâ€™ll see on race day.
Practice fueling on the long days! Sometimes your go-to items become inedible after 5 hours when youâ€™re really tired; better to learn in training than race day.
In the gym youâ€™re going for functional weight training. Itâ€™s a long haul effort so heavy weights/low reps doesnâ€™t have as much benefit as lighter weights/more reps. Donâ€™t do so much gym work that it negatively impacts the running. Personally I find I can skip the gym and just do body weight exercises. Check out David Rocheâ€™s â€śmountain legsâ€ť routine on YouTube...
Youâ€™ve got a long time between now and March, donâ€™t go nuts in November only to be tired and not want to go out on a bad weather day in February. Embrace the cruddy winter weather if only for the mental strength benefits.
Personally I find the hardest thing about winter ultras is the winter training. But the major plus for you is that if you get a nice spring day in March then the adversity you worked through in January and February pays off big time!